In the fall of 2011, TheBlaze brought you the story of Robert Stephens ("with a 'ph'"), the privileged GW Law student who falsely claimed that Chase bank "took" his parents' home during an Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City. As we revealed, Stephens' dramatic anti-capitalism protest was full of inaccurate assertions and easily debunked.
In February of this year, we also reported on East Ridge High School, a Minnesota school celebrating Black History Month by highlighting socialist militant Black Panthers and Marxist propaganda. Predictably, many parents had concerns and voiced them to the local school board.
Now, these two stories are colliding, with Stephens taking his public cries of injustice home to Minnesota.
In March, Stephens penned a letter to the editor of the Woodbury Bulletin, praising the school administrators for highlighting the Black Panthers' "complex" historical significance and shaming the "shallow moral outrage" of concerned parents:
To quote my recently deceased father, black history captures the story of a people striving to “mitigate the cycle of pain inherent in the decadence of American society." It isn't about only highlighting the stories that make people, particularly white people, comfortable, or preserving the false illusion of a “post racial society." Black history is often abrasive, confrontational, and militant; the dark reminder of the unsavory truth brewing below the surface of this nation's soaring rhetoric of freedom and equality.
(This guy must be a riot at parties. Just sayin'...)
Likewise, Marquita Stephens -- Roberts' mother who confirmed to TheBlaze that her son didn't understand the mortgage lending process -- stopped into a school board meeting a few weeks later to recite her son's comments. According to the record of that meeting, Marquita also suggested that the district "put together a task force to review curriculum to infuse cultural issues and events."
Local blogger MNHockeyMama has been diligently following the East Ridge story and offers a bit of context to the Stephens' latest protest:
It strikes me as somewhat ironic that Robert L. Stephens denigrates Woodbury High School with a few of his remarks in his letter to the editor, for example: In a high school climate where I experienced racial antagonism from both students and teachers... This rings hollow when one considers that the high school where he seems to have experienced terrible hardships is the same high school that prepared him well enough scholastically to be accepted into Carleton College - not exactly the easiest school in Minnesota to get into. Robert also mentions being one of thefew Black males in Woodbury High School's class of 2006; as reported by The Minnesota Department of Education, in 2006, 20% of WHS's student population were minority students, and this year that number has increased to 25% (with WHS also ranking 16th in U.S. News & World Reports Top High Schools in Minnesota list, well ahead of the 36th ranked East Ridge High School).
Thanks to TheBlaze reader Michelle V. for the tip!